Get Ready for Post-College Blues
Blindsided By The Blues
You made it across the stage at graduation without tripping. You survived finals and moved out of your college apartment. Perhaps you are headed back home. Or, maybe you moved to a new city.
The first week off is great—you’re finally catching up on the sleep you missed out during the last month of school. Naturally you had to get it all in “one last time,” so it’s been a while since you’ve had a full night’s rest. You’re thrilled you don’t have to go to class anymore, and you definitely needed a break from your roommates.
Then it hits you.
This is not spring break. This is not summer break. You are never going back.
"Check Out iGrad's "Best Of" Beating the Blues Page for The Best Articles, Books, and Resources for Overcoming Post College Depression"
Although you were glad to have a week off, you quickly realize that your college friends are now spread out all over the country, not a 10-minute walk away. You realize that no one cares about your sorority or fraternity letters anymore and that a lot has changed since you were in high school. Your identity and purpose are temporarily undefined.
Here are some things you can do to fill the “grey zone” during your first few months out.
How to Beat the Post-College Blues
- Accept that you are in a transitional period and that it may be depressing. You work your whole life to get into college. Then you work hard for four years to stay in college and do something useful with your time. You’re always surrounded by people. Then all of a sudden you graduate, expecting a big and fabulous life. Instead, you are likely alone, can’t find a job or are working in a job you aren’t crazy about. Fighting this stage isn’t going to change anything, so instead, accept where you are. It is temporary. I promise yo—this initial let down will pass. But while you’re in it, you may feel lonely and disappointed. Expect it now, so it won’t be a shocker later.
- Read a lot of books, just for fun. Yes, I said read. I know you feel you’ve been reading for 4 years, but this time read what YOU want to read. I don’t care if it’s trashy romance novels, books about European history, or self-help books. Feed your brain with pleasurable reading (rather than endless days of HBO). Take note of what you are reading and why you’re reading it. Use this information (rather than your college major) to identify your genuine likes, and let those things influence your job search.
The Best 5 Books to Beat the Post-College Blues
|1.) The Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide|
|2.) The 20 Something Manifesto|
|3.) Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want|
|4.) Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis|
|5.) Life Before Noon: The Guy's Little Black Book For Success After College|
- Make a “bucket list” and get weird. Do things you would never get to do when “life,” work and busy schedules get in the way. Get as creative as you’d like on this one; you’ll never have this much time or freedom again. Take risks and do things you’ve never done before. You never know where life will take you when you get out of your comfort zone.
- Get reacquainted with your passions.You’ve been so bogged down by college, activities, part-time jobs, etc. that you haven’t had taken the time to get back to YOU. Now is the time. Do you love animals? Foster a puppy. If you love hiking, take a road trip and go hike somewhere cool. If you’re a fitness freak, use your down time to work out, train for an event, get involved with work out fitness classes/groups in your community. It may sound so obvious but when you are caught up in the post-college slump, it’s easy to stay on the couch in “poor me” mode. This will only delay your life more.
- Volunteer. Volunteering is one of the best ways to fill down time and get happy. Volunteering doesn’t necessarily need to be done in a traditional sense (i.e., apply for a structured program and work scheduled hours at a facility). If you love fashion, you could start helping the girls in your neighborhood put together new looks or start guest posting on fashion blogs. If you love math, you can tutor some neighborhood kids. If you’re like me you enjoy helping people market themselves and doing volunteer speaking engagements. Volunteering may be as simple as taking your grandparents to their doctors’ appointments or making dinner for your parents, so they don’t have to. Raise your hand! I can’t leave this section without reminding you that “giving” leads to awesome things. You will meet great new people who share your interests, which leads to a positive attitude, new business connections and something to take your mind off of the post-college blues. There is no downside in volunteering!
- Spend time with family members. My Aunt Rita is a great cook. Between graduation and starting work, I decided to spend a few days with Rita so I could learn a few things about cooking from her. Aunt Rita despises cleaning. We “traded” cooking lessons for cleaning and organizing. The same is true for grandparents or relatives that you don’t get to see often. Spending a few extra days with someone you love will likely be a lasting memory and a rare occasion.
Nicole Crimaldi is the founder of mscareergirl.com where she shares her experiences from both “Corporate America” and entrepreneurial life to help young professionals figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it. Nicole believes in using the power of socializing, both online and offline, to achieve the highest level of career happiness. Socialize with Nicole on Twitter @Mscareergirl.
If you’ve already graduated, what have you done to get over the post-college blues?top
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